1. When we know about the future we normally use the present tense.

  • We use the present simple for something scheduled or arranged:

We have a lesson next Monday.
The train arrives at 6.30 in the morning.
The holidays start next week.
It is my birthday tomorrow.

  • We can use the present continuous for plans or arrangements:

I’m playing football tomorrow.
They are coming to see us tomorrow.
We’re having a party at Christmas.

2. We use will to talk about the future:

  • When we make predictions:

It will be a nice day tomorrow.
I think Brazil will win the World Cup.
I’m sure you will enjoy the film.

  • To mean want to or be willing to:

I hope you will come to my party.
George says he will help us.

  • To make offers and promises:

I'll see you tomorrow.
We'll send you an email.

  • To talk about offers and promises:

Tim will be at the meeting.
Mary will help with the cooking.

3. We use (be) going to:

  • To talk about plans and intentions:

I’m going to drive to work today.
They are going to move to Manchester.

  • When we can see that something is likely to happen:

Be careful! You are going to fall.
Look at those black clouds. I think it’s going to rain.


4. We often use verbs like would like, plan, want, mean, hope, expect to talk about the future:

What are you going to do next year? I’d like to go to University.
We plan to go to France for our holidays.
George wants to buy a new car.

5. We use modals may, might, and could when we are not sure about the future:

I might stay at home tonight, or I might go to the cinema.
We could see Mary at the meeting. She sometimes goes.

6. We can use should if we think something is likely to happen:

We should be home in time for tea.
The game should be over by eight o’clock.

7. Clauses with time words:

In clauses with time words like when, after, and until we often use a present tense form to talk about the future:

I’ll come home when I finish work.
You must wait here until your father comes.
They are coming after they have had dinner.

8. Clauses with if:

In clauses with if we often use a present tense form to talk about the future:

We won’t be able to go out if it rains.
If Barcelona win tomorrow they will be champions.

WARNING: We do not normally use will in clauses with if or with time words:

I’ll come home when I will finish work.
We won’t be able to go out if it will rain rains.

But we can use will if it means a promise or offer:

I will be very happy if you will come to my party.
We should finish the job early if George will help us.

9. We can use the future continuous instead of the present continuous or going to for emphasis when we are talking about plans, arrangements and intentions:

They’ll be coming to see us next week.
I will be driving to work tomorrow.

 

 

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hello!

Which is better:

I am going to go to Paris tomorrow.
I am going to Paris tomorrow.

Also, is it incorrect to say "I am going to go to..."?

Thank you.

Hello Sibtid Pocachang,

Both are correct. Which is better depends on the context, so it is impossible to say simply from the sentences on their own.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi again!

I see. So the context is someone making a statement about travel in the near future. The speaker intends to go to Paris on the following day.

I take it that both of the following are acceptable for the context above:

I am going to go to Paris tomorrow.
I am going to Paris tomorrow.

In China, they insist that "going to go to" is redundant and mistaken (in this context). I think they come up with these judgments because their system of education is driven by testing, not because such judgments are true. In other words, they want to identify or even create black and white answers.

If we say that one statement is "better" than another, then what does that really mean? I feel that using the present continuous is better because it is not necessary to say "to go" again. Moreover, repeating "to go" is leaving something out, something that might be interesting: to fly, to drive, to ride the train, etc.

Thank you.

Dear Sir
I know we are not supposed to use 'the' with breakfast , lunch and dinner
but in this sentence you have use the definite article 'the' eg. I think everyone is commimg to the dinner on Saturday. Would you please
explain this to me? The reason.
Thank you.
Regards

Hello Andrew international,

We use 'the' when we are talking a specific thing, known to both speaker and listener. We would say '...come to dinner' if we were speaking in general terms; however, if the dinner is already arranged and has become a fixed event in the calendar then we would use 'the'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir
please let me know whether this sentence is correct. 'It would be a nice
day tomorrow.' instead of 'it will be a nice day tomorrow.' The second sentence from your website under talking about the future. It is a prediction so can't we use 'would' instead of 'will'
Thank you.
Regards

Hello Andrew international,

You would need to have a reason to use 'would' rather than 'will' - in other words, a condition. You could say, for example, 'It would be a nice day tomorrow if you were able to come' or 'It would be a nice day tomorrow for the party (if we decided to organise it)'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

What would be its answer?

I’ll come home when I finish work.
They are coming after they have had dinner.
when should i use present perfect and present simple with future ?

Hello Ola helal,

The parts of your sentences following 'after' are examples of time clauses and we have a page exactly on this topic which I think will help you. You can find it here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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